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Title: Psychological distress in unaccompanied asylum-seeking children : a UK epidemiological study on separated male adolescents from Afghanistan
Author: Bronstein, Israel Raeli
ISNI:       0000 0003 6621 2017
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) are forced migrants under the age of 18 who have been separated From their primary care-giver. They are considered highly vulnerable for developing mental health difficulties and sleep problems; however there is limited available evidence. Afghans are the largest group of UASC entering the UK, yet there is no systematic research concerning their mental state. This thesis examined the mental health and sleep of male Afghan UASC. It presents a clear, logical framework for assessing risk and protective factors. his is followed by a detailed STROBE-compliant systematic review of current mental health epidemiological literature. The review identified 22 studies and indicated high levels of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and emotional and behavioural problems. The discussion highlighted the limited sleep evidence along with a need for increased contextual focus and methodological standardisation. A large-scale cross-sectional mental-health study was conducted with Afghan UASC to (i) estimate the prevalence PTSD and emotional and behavioural problems, (ii) examine sleep patterns and problems, (iii) and associations of psychological distress with sleep problems and several demographic and forced migration variables. A census sample was obtained from the UK Border Agency database and children were screened with well-validated, rigorously translated measure Results indicated that approximately 0 e-third of the sample (n=222) reported above clinical cut-offs for PTSD, and emotional and behavioural problems. Poor sleep quality was also reported by one-third of children. Reported cumulative pre-migration traumatic life events were significantly associated greater difficulties. Placement in foster care was associated with decreased levels of distress. Poor sleep quality is reportedly caused by a several forced migration stressors. The active ingredients in foster care seem worthy of further exploration. Similarly, the evidence concerning sleep should generate further inquiry and intervention research with this specific population. Limitations and possible future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available